The Independent's annual Wyn Harness Prize for Young Journalists is now open for entries. Four years after his death, Wyngate Harness, assistant editor of The Independent, remains one of the most important and best-loved figures in the paper's history.
Wyn worked at the paper for more than 20 years and cared deeply about the writing and reporting on its pages. His death from a brain tumour, at the age of 47, was a huge shock to colleagues and friends. He was a guide and mentor to dozens of young journalists who began their national newspaper careers in the newsroom. His dry, irreverent wit and affection for the quirkier and more bizarre aspects of British life inspired the format of this prize.
The competition is open to anyone aged 25 or under who is embarking on a career in newspaper journalism, either in training, doing a journalism course, work experience or in their first paid employment. To take part, candidates must write a news report of between 500 and 700 words about an aspect of Britain or British society that rarely makes the headlines. The judges will be looking for a subject that is unusual and eye-opening. Entries must be accurate, well-researched and stylishly written. The winner will receive a cash bursary of £1,000 and will be offered a two-week unpaid work experience placement in the newsroom. The story will be published in The Independent.
Full details at www.independent.co.uk/harnessprize
* The prize is open to young journalists of any nationality who will be under 26 on 31 December 2011.
* Entries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight on 10 December 2011.
* The judging panel will include Sue Royal, Wyn Harness's widow, also a journalist, Chris Blackhurst, editor of The Independent, and Helen Boaden, director of BBC News and friend of Wyn Harness.
* For competition terms and conditions, see independent.co.uk/legal